FG postpones launch of student loan scheme indefinitely

The Federal Government has postponed the commencement of the Nigerian Student Loan Scheme indefinitely.

The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND), Akintunde Sawyer, claimed this in an interview with ARISE NEWS.

According to Sawyer, the loan, which was originally scheduled to start on Thursday, has been postponed again due to certain modifications being made surrounding the launch.

“Unfortunately, I won’t be able to commit to a specific date. We are sort of waiting to ensure that all the stakeholders are aligned to make sure that nobody is blindsided, then we can actually roll this out in a meaningful, comprehensive, wholesome and sustainable way.”

President Bola Tinubu signed the bill into law in June 2023, establishing a Students Loan Fund (SLF) to grant interest-free loans to Nigerians pursuing higher education.

The bill, proposed by Femi Gbajabiamila, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, was originally scheduled to take effect between September and October 2023.

President Tinubu declared that the scheme would begin in January 2024, after his government failed to reach the October deadline last year.

Yusuf Sununu, Minister of State for Education, confirmed to reporters at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in January that preparations for the scheme’s launch had been completed, including the finalisation of the Student Loan Scheme website and the completion of technical plans to facilitate the scheme’s launch.

President Tinubu assured the leaders of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) when they visited him at the State House, Abuja, that the scheme would begin once its expansion to accommodate extra features including vocational studies was done.